iPhone maker Apple makes lots of other products, including Macs, and the next 12 months could see some of the strongest Mac sales for some time as millions of aging Windows machines still used in enterprise IT are upgraded to a more advanced computing platform.
Time for the Mac halo to return
First there was the Mac halo, then the iPod came along, which created its own halo and built interest in iPhones. Then Apple broke into the enterprise with iPad. History repeats itself. In 2019, the halo returns to the Mac.
Thatâ€™s what Jamf CEO Dean Hager sees coming, writing:
â€œ2019 will be the greatest Windows to Mac migration in history. Windows users are about to come to a fork in the road as extended support for Windows 7 ends on January 14, 2020.â€
This is deeply significant.
Not only are most enterprises exposed to multiple cyber attacks on a daily basis, but deploying systems that are no longer supported and that may have gaping security flaws could leave business users exposed to more â€” potentially making them liable to prosecution by customers or statutory authorities.
Thatâ€™s even before one stops to ponder the need to deploy computer systems fit for future purpose as digital transformation revolutionizes every industry.
In addition, Microsoft’s plan to end support for Windows 7 will leave 7 million users stranded on the 10-year-old OS. They will have two choices:
- Migrate to Windows 10 (released July 2015)
- Migrate to Mac
In many cases, the second option will make more sense to enterprise users, particularly those who have already coalesced around iOS devices for their mobile strategy.
The demand for Macs is real
Hager is convinced that there is plenty of interest in Mac deployment across the enterprise.
â€œAs has been thoroughly documented, the demand for Mac is already here â€” and even Microsoft knows that,â€ he said.
Pointing to Jamfâ€™s recently revealed and much-improved integration with Microsoft in the enterprise, he observes:
â€œThatâ€™s why they [Microsoft] entered a strategic partnership with Jamf to accommodate the growing number of Apple requests and help better protect users, data and Mac devices attempting to access Office 365.”
Since Satya Nadella took over at Microsoft, the new CEO has worked hard to undo the many mistakes of the past while piloting the company on a more platform-agnostic course. In the last four years, itâ€™s easy to see what an effective decision that has been.
Sure, PC sales continue to decline, but selling operating systems isnâ€™t the big business it used to be for a company now more deeply involved in enterprise infrastructure, cloud services provision, and business technology than ever.
Compatibility and a more open approach to partnership recently saw Microsoft overtake Appleâ€™s market cap.
Where we are now, Microsoft makes money on every Office365 account, on a range of tech infrastructure and more. It doesnâ€™t matter what platform the software runs on (though it does matter that it is secure).
“It is a new era at Microsoft where they are focusing less on hardware and more on making better productivity tools users crave,â€ Hager said. â€œAs organizations continue to see the value (i.e., attract and retain top talent) of offering Mac as a work technology choice and users continue to have a loud voice in the devices they choose to work with, the floodgates are set to open for Mac in the enterprise.â€
Reading the IT tea leaves
I think heâ€™s right. The signs and portents have suggested this all year:
This has driven a huge range of leading firms to offer up services and support to help enterprises deploy Macs, meaning it is easier to do so than ever before.
No wonder sentiment across enterprise IT concerning Apple is higher than ever before.
With millions of legacy Windows systems now ripe for replacement, enterprise users will be taking a closer look at Apple. Not only is it a viable choice, but it’s what employees expect.
Employees want Apple.
SAP Vice President for Enterprise Mobility Martin Lang sums it up: â€œI donâ€™t think we have a choice but to offer choice anymore because of the expectations of employees coming up.”
â€œThe decision to deploy Macs (or iOS) is no longer for IT alone, but also a decision for HR and CEOs as they strive to attract and keep the best people,â€ Hager has said in the past.
Mac and iPhone deployment has become a human resources issue, which makes enterprises engaged in upgrading their old Microsoft kit more likely to deploy Apple solutions, and that’s a big wave we’ll see breaking in 2019.